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EU opens the door to a loss and injury facility



Frans Timmermans gave the strongest sign but the EU is prepared to contemplate a fund for local weather victims – however no choice this yr

The EU is open to creating a brand new funding stream to assist victims of local weather catastrophe recuperate – so long as China contributes.

On one of the contentious points at Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, EU local weather chief Frans Timmermans hinted at room for compromise.

“We want to be bridge builders. We are open for this facility, but under certain conditions, and we need to discuss this,” Timmermans advised reporters on Wednesday.

A gaggle of 134 creating international locations, referred to as the G77, and China, is looking for settlement in Sharm el-Sheikh this week to arrange a loss and injury facility.

Wealthy international locations favor a “mosaic” of funding preparations. The EU argues a facility is only one choice to contemplate – and the choice must be made at subsequent yr’s summit.

Current and new funding devices, starting from debt reduction to a windfall tax on oil and gasoline income, ought to kind a part of the answer, Brussels says. Many of those sit outdoors the UN Local weather Change course of.

Present v historic accountability

In any case, Timmermans mentioned the pool of contributors must be broader than the listing of nations outlined by UN Local weather Change as “developed” within the Nineteen Nineties.

“I think everybody should be brought into the system on the basis of where they are today. China is one of the biggest economies on the planet with a lot of financial strength,” mentioned Timmermans. “Why should they not be made co-responsible for funding loss and damage?”

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Final week, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda appeared to agree. “We all know that India and China… are major polluters and the polluters must pay,” Gaston Browne mentioned. “I don’t think that there’s any free pass for any country.”

The island chief later clarified that there needed to be a “differentiated assessment” that took into consideration historic emissions.

At a press convention final week, China’s local weather envoy Xie Zhenhua mentioned Beijing made voluntary contributions via south-south cooperation and was beneath no obligation to do extra.

Growing international locations’ place hasn’t budged. Beneath an in depth proposal printed on Tuesday, the G77 requires a committee to work out how the ability would work for approval subsequent yr.

The EU’s shift in place places the highlight on the US, which has to this point rejected the proposal for a brand new fund. “That’s just not happening,” local weather envoy John Kerry mentioned on Saturday, citing issues about legal responsibility for compensation. In different interviews, he took a softer tone, however remained imprecise about the place the touchdown floor is perhaps.

Want for pace

One of many arguments towards a facility is it might take too lengthy to get cash flowing.

Growing international locations have beforehand mentioned the brand new fund may very well be modelled on the UN’s flagship Inexperienced Local weather Fund (GCF), which was established in 2010. It took 5 years for the primary tasks to be accepted.

The EU argues present and new monetary devices outdoors the UN local weather course of may ship funding on the scale wanted, extra rapidly.

On Wednesday, Timmermans introduced that the EU had allotted €60 million ($62m) for “loss and damage” from its World Gateway programme. This could assist an early warning initiative, local weather and catastrophe danger finance and insurance coverage mechanisms.

Different concepts embody a brand new belief beneath the World Financial institution, a funding window on the GCF, a windfall tax on oil and gasoline income and reforms of the monetary system.

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The Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis) has to this point been unimpressed with rich international locations’ various proposals. In an announcement, the group mentioned it was “gravely concerned” with the dearth of progress on the difficulty.

Aosis chair and setting minister Molwyn Joseph, of Antigua and Barbuda, mentioned some international locations just like the UK and New Zealand, had been “willing to engage”.

However “some developed countries are furiously trying to stall progress and even worse, attempting to undermine small island developing states,” he mentioned.

Following ministerial consultations on Wednesday afternoon, one supply near the dialogue advised Local weather Dwelling that some creating international locations could also be prepared to just accept a compromise, so long as it results in a choice on funding preparations at Cop28 subsequent yr.

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